Kitchen Progress: Appliances + Finish Details

Kitchen Renovation Stack Bond Subway TileThis post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

If you’ve wondered why I’ve been a little quiet lately, you obviously haven’t been watching my Instagram stories! (I may or may not have been oversharing all of our home renovation details over there.) Every day I’ve been doing something little, or something big, to get this kitchen a big closer to completion. Unless we’re talking about last Tuesday and Wednesday, when I wasted hours of my life painting the refrigerator wall 12 different shades of gray, only to come to the conclusion that gray is not a color I want for my kitchen. But! As my dad always says, it’s not a waste if you learned something!

kitchen shelving wall

This past week, I’ve been getting cold feet about a lot of my decisions? Why? Well, because it was time to make the decisions a reality, and I’m simply terrified of committment when it comes to these big home design decisions. I found myself overcome with doubt about my plan for the wooden shelving wall I was getting ready to work on this weekend. So I did some mockups, and decided I’d like the wall and shelves to both be gray. I spent a lot of time mulling over gray colors, and painting the wall with samples, and decided to go back to my original plan. But like another wise man in my life once said, just because you spent a lot of time on something, doesn’t mean it’s any good. (That was my drawing instructor in art school.)

kitchen shelving wall

So here I am, back where I started. Wood shelves. This is the area where I plan on storing my most frequently used pantry items, near the stove and kitchen island. (I do have a pantry closet, but it is tucked around the corner at the end of the kitchen.) I was worried about it looking too cluttered with the contrast of the wood shelves with a while wall behind it. But in the end, I decided the gray felt out of place in a room with no other gray, and really am drawn to the warmth of the wood tones.

The appliances I selected from The Home Depot are very sleek and modern, and I think they fit right in with the modern stack bond tile arrangement we decided on. I especially love how the white refrigerator just blends in so well with its white surroundings, yet the steel handles on the door elevate it to look like a chic piece of furniture in the space.


KitchenAid Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator

– EXTENDFRESH Temperature Management System helps keep food fresh
– Interior water dispenser provides easy access to filtered water
-Produce Preserver helps keep fruits and vegetables fresh


kitchenaid counter depth refrigerator

Tonight I’m working on building a cabinet to surround the fridge which will make it look built-in, but also give me hidden storage above it. This wall is going to be so amazing when it’s finished! (Fingers crossed!)

Most of my accessories for the kitchen are either nondescript white dishes, or jars and baskets that definitely learn towards country. If I were to describe the style I gravitate towards, I would say it’s 1970s modern with Scandinavian simplicity, a little bit country (the minimally styled primitive stuff), and a dash bohemian. I really love bright, airy spaces with mostly white and neutrals, but pops of color here and there to add personality— like my pink sink! While I do love the clean and white look, I also crave the warmth of wood.

70s country kitchen accessories

We have completely changed up the island in the center of the kitchen and topped it with the a butcher block countertop we had purchased for our last kitchen renovation— we loved it so much we did it again! The countertop is a precut countertop specifically sized for island uses, and it just so happened to be the perfect fit for our island! I sealed it with Waterlox to give it the rich color, but more importantly to give it a food safe protection from water. The flooring we decided on for most of the first floor is also from Lumber Liquidators— engineered maple. Super easy to instal! I highly recommend it for an inexpensive flooring option.

The island will also be getting a built-in microwave which I purchased from Home Depot after having such a good experience with my other larger kitchen appliances. It’s white, so it’ll blend in with the island, and be easily accessible for warming up my coffee for the fifth time each morning as a mother does.

Pink kitchen sink

I still love the pink sink! And love it even more now that we have a new dishwasher beside it. I can’t even explain how excited I was to have a new dishwasher that does an amazing job cleaning my dishes! My silverware and clear glass storage containers were all cloudy from the dishwasher at our old house. Just one time through in this new one, and most of the cloudiness is already gone! Very impressed. And I like that it matches the fridge.


KitchenAid Top Control Dishwasher in White

– PROWASH cycle adapts to achieve best cleaning based on soil level
– Heat Dry option w/ recessed heat element helps ensure dry dishes
– Fold-down tines in lower rack adjust to 1 of 3 positions


Kitchen Renovation Stack Bond Subway Tile

It’s so exciting to have my dream stove in place, and did you notice? I built a box for my hood vent, and love the way it looks! Especially now that I’ve finally started to instal the wall tile. The tile will receive a very light gray grout that will allow for the stack bond pattern to still be seen easily, but it won’t be as bold as it looks now, sans grout.

I can’t wait until this space is all finished up and I can host my first brunch, with skillets of yumminess on each of the six burners on my new KitchenAid commercial range. It’s the crown jewel of our kitchen renovation.

commercial range


KitchenAid Commercial Style 36″ Range

– Dual fuel combines gas cooking surface with an electric oven
– EVEN-HEAT True Convection helps keep the perfect temperature
– 20K BTU ULTRA POWER dual-flame burner ranges from high-to-low


Kitchen Renovation Stack Bond Subway Tile

This weekend we’re finishing the tiles and fridge cabinet, then next week I’m installing the floating shelves on the window wall and the wood shelving next to the fridge. After that, it’s just a few small details! (toe kicks, door and floor trim, and lighting!) Thanks for following along with me on this journey. It’s such a treat to share it with you!

If you want to check out my other kitchen planning posts, you can see where I started and some of the planning and demo details.

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program for appliances. As a part of the program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Kitchen Progress: Ooooh We’re Halfway There!

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

So much has happened since I last shared pictures of the kitchen! I’m happy to say we’re about half way finished with this space. The big news this week is that our Home Depot appliances will be delivered! Before that, our excitement revolved around new Corian countertops being installed with a PINK undermount sink (that’s right!) and a butcher block island top from Lumber Liquidators.

You know things are looking up when you can make coffee at home, but not only that— your pink coffee creamer carton matches your sink!

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

While I really enjoyed the industrial coiled-pull-down style of our last sink’s faucet, I decided to get something more sleek and easy to clean. (The last faucet was perennially dusty and difficult to clean around the coils.) The faucet I chose for our new kitchen is elegant, but design-wise it’s understated and lets the pink sink take center stage. I can’t wait to see this area with the tiled backsplash in place! We chose this wide 3×12 subway tile that we’ll lay in a modern stack-bond pattern with off-white grout. We’ll lay that after the appliances are installed and after I’ve built the box around our hood vent. (More on that later!)

Just a reminder of what this space used to be! The first thing we did when we moved in was to take down cabinets and rearrange them to better suit our needs for the space. The cabinets we aren’t using in the kitchen anymore are being repurposed in the garage and basement. The style is not my choice for cabinetry, but I wanted to use what we had if at all possible, and I didn’t feel like the lower cabinets were cramping my style too badly. So they stayed!

As you can see in the floor plans below, we gave the eat-in-kitchen more space to serve as our main dining area, as well as removed all of the large cabinetry on the entry wall. Then we drywalled in a pantry where the butler’s cabinet use to be. (It used to have a wet bar inside!) I will be building a wall of shelving to act as an open pantry system for prettier things (like dry goods in jars as well as serving bowls and pitchers), but that will be the last of the details I finish in this space.

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

This is how the space looks now. We’ll lay maple engineered hardwood flooring for starters, but with the addition of doors, trim, appliances, lighting, and finishing details like shelving and tile, this space will look pretty close to my original renderings

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

Above is the wall where the open shelving system will go. The verticals of the shelves will anchor into each stud in the wall, and then I’ll instal horizontal shelves that will go above the doorway too, to completely surround the entry to the kitchen. I think it will be quite cozy and the perfect way to balance out all of the white in this space!

kitchen appliance trends

I spoke last time about my thought process behind selecting appliances for the kitchen. I’m fortunate to be working with The Home Depot on appliances for the space, and true to Mandi form, I began my hunt by searching online. I knew I wanted a slide-in range and counter depth refrigerator. I was able to narrow the search parameters to view only those models, and selected these two models based on looks and reviews. My favorite part about shopping online (besides the fact that I can do it at midnight) is being able to confidently make decisions based on the experiences of those who have gone before me. :) After deciding on the two appliances that mattered most to me (fridge and range), I selected a dishwasher to match. Thankfully the one that matches is also well reviewed, or I may have selected a different model. But from what I’ve seen and experienced, KitchenAid is a great brand I can trust.

Before I placed my order, I did go into a Home Depot store to check out the appliances in person. I was able to see the dishwasher and counter-depth refrigerator I chose, but they didn’t have the commercial range in store for me to check out. But obviously it’s a dream range that I’ll be happy to have in our kitchen! I had been worried about the stainless steel handles on the fridge I liked (not trying to clean smudges all day long), but in store I was happy to see that the handles are etched and not prone to smudging!

Here are the appliances I chose:

All Home Depot appliance orders over $396 come with free shipping, and I was able to select my delivery date online, along with appliance installation and hauling-away of our old appliances. After weeks of deliberating, everything was ordered within 5 minutes. So excited for their delivery this week!

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

kitchen update making nice in the midwest

I also decided to upholster the tops of my counter stools with this vintage fabric which reminded me of my parents’ bad velvety sofa from the ’70s. Stool cushions are the perfect little spot for a nostalgic pop of funk like this, and will add a soft touch to a mostly white room. I love that they’re the first thing you’ll see when you want into the room!

Thanks for following along with me on the journey! My next kitchen update will hopefully include a finished backsplash and my gorgeous new lighting. Wish me luck!

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program for appliances. As a part of the program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.


Living Room Plans

mandimakes new house

You guys! We’ve been living in this destroyed house for only a week, and it already feels like home. I think it’s probably not normal to feel this way when living with subfloors, exposed wiring (breakers are turned off— no worries), holes in the wall, and doors missing, and no kitchen to speak of. But, hey! I’ll take the warm fuzzies whenever they come my way.

Lately I’ve been very excited about some decisions and progress we’ve made in the living room. Here’s what it looked like when we moved in.

mandimakes new house

mandimakes new house

Okay, so actually there was a big red plaid cornice board and blinds on that window, so this isn’t quiiite a true before. I had to rip out the cornice immediately (nothing against cornice boards, but this one was SO early ’90s.), so it didn’t quite make it into my before pictures. The next thing I did was rip out the carpet, remove the mantle and cabinet from the fireplace area, and attempt to rip out the platform that was below the cabinet. That was very frustrating. Below the platform was a cinderblock wall that went right up to the subfloor of the platform, as well as the vent for the basement bathroom shower, the vacuflo system (which I will probably never even use!), wiring, ductwork, and ceiling beams/floor beams. It would’ve been a HUGE undertaking to remove that platform, so we decided to keep it, and I sat around  feeling sad about it and frustrating with this whole corner of the room. I literally laid awake at night pondering how to not hate that corner of what was otherwise a very cool room.

So I came up with a solution! Hooray! Below you can see my plans drawn overtop of the space as it was before. It required embracing the platform we couldn’t remove, and doing a little drywall work around the nook beside the fireplace. (The walls in the corner column don’t match up with the walls above it, and it was driving me BONKERS.)

fireplace before

fireplace after

And just to verify that I was on the right track with my plans, I drew up what the space would look like, using Photoshop overtop of a photo of this area as it currently stands. I wanted this space to feel fresh and modern, adding sleek built-in shelving around a big screen tv (no shame), but also adding mid century flair with the stone veneer and hearth expansion. I can already envision friends perched on the long hearth during game nights— cushions a plenty beneath the tooshies, of course!

Now I’m SO PSYCHED about this corner of the room. And my eyes won’t twitch when I look at the walls in the corner not matching up. Because in our future living room, they WILL match up.

living room mockup

I created a few mock-ups while planning furnishings and decor for our new living room. This isn’t the exact arrangement of the room, but I wanted to gather all of the elements together to see how they blend together. Making this simple mock-up on Photoshop really helped me determine big design choices, like— green sofa or yellow sofa? Dark floors or light floors? Wall sconce or table lamp? What style of fireplace stone? I had planned on using modern sixties-inspired shag rugs, but with a few clicks, I realized that more traditional rugs would balance out the space much more to my liking.

living room mockup
 The furnishings I settled on are the ones in the first mock-up (with the yellow sofa), though I did fall in love the with bright background of the bottom mock-up, which convinced me to choose white washed bamboo flooring over the darker material.

Some of these items are things I already owned (the Jimmy Stewart poster and the vintage photobooth panel), but basically everything else is new to me— though quite a few are vintage. I’ve rounded them up for you below!

living room progress

And because I feel like it’s not fair to withhold progress photos from you all, here’s a snapshot of what the room looks like currently! The next steps are to paint the removed baseboards, build out the drywall as described above, and instal the stone veneer. Then it’s simply a matter of decorating! So excited that this room will be finished in August!